Spring Street International School
At Spring Street, education is about building relationship. Teachers work to prepare each student to meet the requirements of a rigorous curriculum, fostering the complex reasoning crucial to thriving in both college and life. Collaborating on projects, fieldwork, experiments, and presentations, students and teachers create meaningful understanding of themselves, their community and their world.
In Middle School, the key goals are to promote a love of learning and good study habits. SSIS is very much a family, teachers and student know each other well, engendering respect, kindness, and understanding
Subject AreaTypical Offerings
Language ArtsExpository Writing, Introduction to Comparative Literature, The Critical Essay
MathematicsTransition Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra
ScienceEarth as a Living System: Island Inquiry, Life Science, Biology 8
Social StudiesAncient Civilizations/Middle Ages, Modern World 1600-1850, Modern World 1850-Present
Foreign LanguageSpanish I (8th)
P.E.6th-7th grade: Swimming, Hiking, Field Sports
The ArtsMusic, Studio Art, Ceramics
While the setting and atmosphere is informal and comfortable, there is the expectation of attention and commitment to academics. Students, staff and faculty form strong bonds of support through their school years and beyond.
For graduation, students must earn the required number of credits in each area during their high school years. In some cases, these required classes may be taken during the 8th grade year. In rare cases, a 7th grade student may take the Algebra I class for HS credit. One credit is equivalent to a year-long class.
Minimum Credits Required for Graduation
 Subject Area   Minimum Credits   Typical Oferings 
English 4 English 9, English 10, English 11, AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature, Creative Writing
STEM 8 Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Genius Hour, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science
Social Studies 4 World Religions and Cultures, US Constitutional History, AP Psychology, Theory of Knowledge, AP Comparative Government, Philosophy and Ethics, AP Human Geography
Foreign Language 3 Spanish I, II, III, Spanish IV/AP Spanish; Independent Language
Physical Education 2 Independent Study; Team Sports
The Arts 1.5 Drawing, Painting, Theatre, Music Theory, Music Performance, Video
Occupational Education 1
Electives 4.5 Additional courses in the Arts, Humanities, and STEM
Total required 28 (minimum)
The grade point average is calculated on a standard 4.0 scale. A cumulative GPA is calculated every semester. Most students take the SAT and the PSAT in their junior year. Some seniors also take the ACT and/or the SAT II.
Academic Program
Spring Street International School's academic program offers a balanced and integrated college-preparatory curriculum with an individually adaptive approach. Written and grammatical skills are fundamental, and continue to be developed at all grade levels. Humanities and art are integrated into other studies, emphasizing the relationship between the arts and the cultures that produce them. Math classes emphasize computational skills as well as theoretical constructs and problem-solving applications. Sciences, both laboratory and field, focus on discovery, analysis and synthesis. The school's faculty is continuously reviewing its course of study and graduation requirements to ensure that we offer a premier college preparatory program.
Academic Progress Reporting
SSIS uses grades, narrative evaluations, and direct teacher to parent/student communication to describe a student's academic progress. Narratives are published twice each semester, with parent/teacher conferences scheduled at midterm. Grades in progress are issued at midterm, with final grades issued at the end of each semester. Parents are welcome and encouraged to contact advisors at any time to discuss their child's progress.
Advisory System
Each student is assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of the year who serves as mentor, advocate, and main school contact for families. Advisee groups usually number 8-12 students, and as such, advisors often are the best first contact when families have questions or concerns. Advisees can expect to both meet individually with their advisors frequently throughout the year, and also as an advisee group.
• As a mentor, the advisor monitors and addresses issues related to students' academic lives, assisting them with course and activities selection, effective time management and study habits.
• As a facilitator, the advisor communicates students' progress with parents and faculty, and works with the Head of School, parents, and faculty to develop strategies for student success.
• As an advocate, the advisor supports students in the form of advice, encouragement, affirmation and trust. The advisor actively engages students in meaningful interactions.
Annual Activities and School Trips
SSIS is committed to exposing its students to a wide variety of learning experiences, including those that can only take place outside the classroom. Day trips, both on and off-island, and longer trips, both within the United States and overseas (Latin America and Asia), are an important part of a student's overall educational program and support our goal of having our graduates be true global citizens.
School trips begin during the first month of school, with a 5-day backpacking trip in the Cascades for all 5th-12th graders. Trips become longer and present more challenges and learning opportunities as the students advance through the grade levels. International travel experiences begin at the high school level and take place during the fourth quarter of the school year, after the last AP exam. These international experiences are much more than "school trips" and include strong components of service activities as well as direct connections to the school curriculum. Students must earn the privilege to apply to participate in the international travel program through a record of excellent Expedition Behavior (EB), good citizenship, scholarship and service to the school and community.
Students may also take advantage of the opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities available at the public schools. Such activities usually include team sports, drama and music.
College Counseling supports each student's higher education search and application process. Beginning Sophomore year and culminating in a class just for seniors called "Senior Studies", students learn how to prepare themselves for college and the admissions process. We ensure each student receives strong guidance specifically related to helping achieve his or her goals, and our placement rates are excellent.
Senior Studies works with students to identify best-fit schools, and supports students and families as they navigate the application process. The course features in-class exercises, discussions, web searches, independent work time, and private one-on-one counseling. In addition, the College Counselor and Academic Dean help students reveal their best selves in their college applications and review student applications so they are at their best. Our goal is to help each student identify which schools are his or her best match, based on the schools' mission, faculty, departments, programs, size, cost, location, and entrance requirements.
Selections from 2009 — 2019
American University
ArtCenter College of Design
Bard College
Beloit College
Bennington College *
Boston University
Bowdoin College *
Bryn Mawr College
Cal Poly Pomona *
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo *
Cal State San Bernadino *
Carleton College *
Chapman College
Colorado College *
Colorado School of Mines
Columbia University *
Cornell College *
Dartmouth College
DePaul University
Earlham College
Emerson College
Evergreen College *
Fordham University *
Franklin and Marshall College
George Washington University *
Gonzaga University *
Goucher College *
Hampshire College
Haverford College
Johns Hopkins University
Kenyon College
Lawrence University *
Loyola University
Macalester College
Maine Maritime Academy *
Marlboro College
McGill University
Miami University-Oxford *
Middlebury College
Mills College
Mount Holyoke *
New England Conservatory
New York University *
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Pacific Lutheran University *
Pitzer College
Pomona College
Reed College *
Rhode Island School of Design *
Rutgers University *
San Francisco Conservatory of Music *
Santa Clara University *
Sarah Lawrence College *
School of the Visual Arts *
Scripps College
Seattle Pacific University
Soka University of America *
St. Mary's College *
St. Olaf College *
Simon Fraiser University
Stanford University
SUNY Binghamton *
Swarthmore College *
Temple University
Tufts University
University of British Columbia *
University of California Berkeley
University of California Irvine *
University of California Santa Barbara *
University of California Santa Cruz *
University of Illinois Chicago *
University of Michigan *
University of Minnesota *
University of Notre Dame
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Puget Sound *
University of Redlands *
University of Southern California *
University of San Francisco *
University of Texas Austin
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin Madison
University San Diego
Vassar College
Washington and Lee University *
Washington State University *
Wellesley College *
Wesleyan University *
Wheaton College *
Whitman College *
Willamette University *
* College attended